Illinois Medical Marijuana Law: What Employers Should Know

In November 2015, medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois began treating patients under Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (Compassionate Use Act). Illinois’s medical marijuana law is one of the most restrictive in the nation. First, it is a four-year experiment. At the end of 2017, government officials in Illinois will evaluate whether to restrict, expand, or modify the approved uses of cannabis. Second, patients must be diagnosed with one of the specific, debilitating medical conditions enumerated in the Compassionate Use Act to be prescribed medical marijuana (chronic pain did not make the list). Third, the prescribing physician must have a prior and ongoing medical relationship with the patient. Finally, the law prohibits patients from growing their own marijuana.

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